Manley to return home

ROB BRODIE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:21 AM ET

Elizabeth Manley's 18-year skating odyssey is winding back to where it all began.

She's coming home.

The Gloucester Skating Club announced yesterday that Manley, the 1988 Olympic silver medallist, has been hired as a coach. She'll begin her duties there in October.

"I'm so excited to go home," Manley told the Sun from Aston, Pa., where she's been a coach at the IceWorks Skating Club for the past few years.

For Manley, the move is all about family. She's lived apart from her husband, Cochrane native Brent Theobald, since their marriage last summer.

"I haven't been able to get him in (to the U.S.)," said Manley. "There's such a huge backlog at immigration."

But Manley's biggest reason for coming home is the health of her parents. Her mother, Joan, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in May and has been undergoing treatments at Kingston General Hospital (she lives in Trenton). And her father Bernie, an Ottawa resident, suffers from Alzheimer's disease which, Manley said, "is getting progressively worse."

"I've been sitting by myself in Pennsylvania saying 'what am I doing?,' " said Manley, who's spent nearly 18 years touring and coaching in the U.S. "So it's time to go home. It's time to be with my family."

Manley said she plans to move her mother to Ottawa, though she'll continue treatments in Kingston.

"She's so tough," said Manley. "I look at her, and now I know where I got my toughness as a skater."

Theobald, meanwhile, has secured a job here with TD Waterhouse. They've already got a house rented in Orleans, not far from where Manley will coach at the Bob McQuarrie (formerly Orleans) Recreational Complex.

The Gloucester club's home rink there is named after its most famous former student. And Manley said she's open to coaching at all levels: Her students in Aston ranged in age from four to 75.

"I just love working with everybody," she said. "I don't have any boundaries."

Best of all, she'll do it right at home.

"They say life goes 360 degrees," said Manley. "Now I'm finally coming back to where it all started."


Videos

Photos